Continuing his reign as "cool Pope" last Monday, January 8th, Pope Francis called on all countries to come together and ban nuclear weapons.
Pope Francis made these comment during his annual "State of the World" address to diplomats. Referencing the positions of his predecessor, Pope John XXIII, Francis said:
Nuclear weapons must be banned.
[There is] no denying that the conflagration could be started by some chance and unforeseen circumstance.
The Pope is willing to put his money where his mouth is: last year, The Vatican was one of 122 countries to sign a U.N. treaty banning nuclear weapons. Notably, however, The United States, France, and Great Britain (3 of the 4 countries with nuclear missile capabilities) boycotted the treaty meetings and did not sign. Those countries instead re-affirmed their existing non-proliferations treaties.
Perhaps thinking of President Trump's recent threat to hit his "big" nuclear button, The Pope cautioned that weapons of mass destruction were never the true answer and encouraged dialogue on the Korean Peninsula:
It is of paramount importance to support every effort at dialog on the Korean peninsula, in order to find new ways of overcoming the current disputes, increasing mutual trust and ensuring a peaceful future for the Korean people and the entire world,
Continuing to butt heads with Trump, Francis renewed the call for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine while also asking that the "status quo" be maintained in Jerusalem following the President's decision to recognize the city as Israel's capital. As if that set the two in firm enough opposition, the Pope also asked countries to remain committed to the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. As of right now, The U.S. is the only country in the world (literally the only one) to reject the agreement.
Let's hope next year's speech is a little more cheerful! Maybe is 2018 is good enough, the Pope will even serve up some of his trademark jokes. Until then, I guess we'll just have to try and take his advice.
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